'Wipeout' pilot a reality for ABC

Orders Endemol's 'obstacle course' competition

ABC has ordered "Wipeout," a reality competition pilot from Endemol USA.

The project features 50 contestants navigating through "the world's largest obstacle course" for a $50,000 cash price.

"Wipeout" bears similarities to Endemol USA's breakout reality hit "Fear Factor" for NBC. The show is described by producers as " 'Fear Factor' with none of the gross."

Some prestrike predictions that the broadcast networks would go on buying sprees for reality projects to offset the lack of original scripted series episodes have not come true. Only a couple of reality projects had been greenlighted since the beginning of the writers work stoppage, including a three-series block at NBC by Thom Beers and BermanBraun, which had been in the works before the strike (HR 12/3). The nets aggressively developed unscripted fare during the spring and summer in anticipation of a strike, so most of them are set for the short term.

However, the broadcast reality market will get busier if the walkout stretches into the new year.

"Wipeout" extends ABC's relationship with Endemol USA, the company behind the network's highly rated reality series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

It's a busy time for Endemol USA, which has several series in production, including "Home Edition" and the game shows "Deal or No Deal" and "1 vs. 100" for NBC.

The company also is gearing up for the first in-season "Big Brother." The ninth season of CBS' reality series, exec produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, will launch Feb. 12.